Advocacy and Lobbying

Political and Non-partisan

We will not be successful making social change on behalf of women and girls if we do not participate in the political process.  AAUW’s perspective on issues that impact women and girls require new and changes to current legislation.  Legislation is a product of the political process.  Our work must always be non-partisan.   Sometimes people confuse political and non-partisan.  For THE best explanation of the difference, click here.

Should I Work on a Bill that Won’t Pass?

The majority of states are dominated by one political party.  If you are not a member of that party, it can feel futile to push your legislative priorities.  But even if you know your bill will not pass, there are still important reasons to try:

    • Educate legislators about an existing problem and your proposed solutions; perhaps find common ground.
    • Get media coverage to cost-effectively communicate with the public.
    • Frame the issue in your terms and make the opposition play defense.
  • Force policymakers to take a position and reveal their stance on an issue (then use it in your state legislative voting record).
  • Build grassroots support by giving advocates a task and target.
  • Compel lawmakers to show voters what they actually believe.

It often takes a long time to put the pieces into place, and it can take years to pass a bill, but laying the groundwork improves your chances of success later.

How to Lobby

The Art of Lobbying webinar held March 19, 2019
Presentation
Handout
Recording

After visiting a legislator, please complete this Lobby Report.

Other Resources
How to Hold a Meeting with Elected Official
Developing Your Advocacy Strategy Handout
Pennsylvania General Assembly and legislation information
Understanding how laws are passed in Pennsylvania

Learning about the Issues

Advocacy-in-a-Box pages contain an overview of the public policy issue and specifics for individual and branch advocacy.  These should be the first place you look for information and resources.

Equal Pay
GOTV (Get Out The Vote)
K – 12 Education Funding
Paid Leave
Redistricting Reform (ending gerrymandering)